Ron Joseph Telek

Northwest Coast Native Artist Ron Joseph Telek from Nisga’a Nation

Nisga’a Nation

1962 – 2017

“My work is as important to me as my family and children. Finding the balance is the key to unlocking the spiritual essence of your soul.”  – Ron Joseph Telek

Born in 1962, Ron Telek was an exceptional carver and storyteller whose subject matter primarily revolved around themes of spirituality representing shamanism, transformation and the on-going struggle between good and evil.

In 1983, while attending high school in Vancouver, Ron began carving under the guidance of his uncle, Norman Tait. He familiarized himself with the traditional form and progressed to perfecting his technique. Telek assisted Norman Tait on a number of important totem pole commissions. Since then, Telek explored a style of his own, informed by, but not necessarily conforming to, the traditional northwest coast tribal style. The emergence of this individual style came about from a life and death experience by Telek. Consequently, he attended the Art Program at Langara College in Vancouver for two years where he studied African, Japanese and Italian sculpting techniques, as well as the human form. This was apparent in his unique style of work incorporating carving and sculpting.

His work was distinguished by dimensionality, precise carving, sinuous lines and fluid shapes. Telek had great respect for the natural beauty of wood, and often left his pieces completely unpainted using the wood grain to add to the illusion of motion and transformation within the mask.

Telek passed away suddenly on January 26, 2017.

Works by this Artist (Present + Past + Public)

Past Works

The artist’s Past Works at our Gallery have now sold; however, a custom order may be possible if the artist is available and accepting commissions.